Directed by Marcus Flemmings
Written by: #MarcusFlemmings
Palindrome Movie Review
Marcus Flemmings’s Palindrome explores a revered artist’s life after witnessing a tragic event. Worthy of being called an epic, it’s an ambitious piece that flows with everlasting intrigue.
The opening minutes contain an interesting array of shot choices, a lavish classical score by Billy Jupp, a title card that begs a question, and then the main logo which kicks us off on a absorbing journey. Palindrome is similar to Strickland’s In Fabric, which collected two stories and combined them into one feature. Much like the aforementioned, Palindrome’s first half was the most entertaining. An expertly crafted series of events that kept ticking along in steady pace. The decision to shoot in black and white was a wise one, adding a beautiful grittiness to the screen.
Although this film focuses more on drama, there is one scene with a robbery that made me chuckle. It quickly switches back to its dramatic side, ferociously cutting between environments that Jumaane Brown’s character find himself in, including a dark space that seems very much inspired by those in Glazer’s Under the Skin, or the ‘sunken place’ in Peele’s Get Out. The sound drops out and we’re left with nothing but a beam of light, and the character trying to fight his way towards it.
All of this is included in the excellent first half, but then we’re shown another title card that leads us into the second half. Here, the screen turns vibrant with colours as we’re presented with Sarah Swain’s character. Things may begin to become a little too vague, but the shot composition remains wonderfully intact. This half features many long takes with great performances from all. Although the story takes a backseat, thankfully there’s still a lot to appreciate visually. Mike Pike’s editing is practically flawless. He knows exactly when to ramp things up, and similarly let things simmer to good effect.
I feel obliged to mention the score by Billy Jupp once more, and not only because he’s from Kent like myself, but because of his unique skill and tackling of this project. The finale plays out especially well with his touch, so much that when the screen had cut to black, I sat back and listened to the credit suite play me out of Flemmings’s world.
Palindrome is a phenomenally rich and thought-provoking piece indeed. One that I believe will go on to receive many accolades after its release.